Personally, while I know that many enjoy the November writing marathon known as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I’m not personally a big fan.
I know that participants appreciate:
- the thrilling challenge of the madcap rush to write a novel.
- the reminder that you need to write consistently and frequently and stick with a project to finish it.
- the camaraderie
- the sheer pride in the plethora of pages produced
But others (and frankly, a lot of professionals in the field) caution against the “come hell or high water” plunge into the whirlpool of a novel.
It reminds me a bit of the marathon dance competition, as in the movie They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (“The lives of a disparate group of contestants intertwine in an inhumanely grueling dance marathon,” Substitute a few words and you have a description of writing any novel, let alone an entire novel in a month!)
Here’s a look at the issues from a perspective of a literary agent, Scott Eagen of Greyhaus Literary Agency (a small agency for romance writers), questioning the fundamental value of the popular annual literary event. A key line:
[M]y bigger issue [with NaNoWriMo] is the lack of true emphasis on the writing process that successful authors know and use religiously.
You can read the rest of Eagen’s blog post on NaNoWriMo here.
What’s your take on NaNoWriMo? Enjoyable? Productive? Useful to you as a writer? If so, how?
I’m honestly interested in what works for you. I don’t want to discourage anyone from anything that’s useful. I just want to encourage best practices . . . especially if you’re going to devote a lot of time and energy to becoming a successful writer.